Past customers

Information for past customers who had an income compliance debt raised using averaged Australian Taxation Office (ATO) income information.

If you made repayments towards an income compliance debt raised using averaged ATO income information, you may be able to get a refund.

If you didn’t pay any money towards this debt, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll reduce your debt to zero, this means the debt no longer exists.

If you currently get a regular payment from us, read our information for current customers.

What you need to do

We’ve already paid most refunds to eligible customers.

A small number of former customers need to update their details with us so we can pay their refund.

To do this:

  • Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
  • Select the Refund pending task.
  • Select Start task and follow the prompts to complete and submit your updated details.

If you can’t see a Refund pending task, you haven’t been identified as eligible for a refund. If you think you are eligible, call us on 1800 171 846. The line is open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm AEST. It’s a free call from landline telephones. Mobile phone charges may apply.

If you don’t have a Centrelink online account, register for one through myGov. Read about Centrelink online accounts and how to register.

If you have a Centrelink online account linked to myGov, we’ll send a letter to your myGov Inbox. This is if you’re eligible and you need to complete the online task. You don’t need to wait for the letter to complete the online task.

Once you complete and submit the task, we’ll process your refund. If you don’t update your details through this task, we can’t process your refund.

We’ll confirm your refund amount after we process it. You’ll see it in your Centrelink online account and you’ll get your refund within 5 business days. We’ll also send you a letter letting you know how much we refunded you.

What to do if you disagree with a decision

If you disagree with a decision we’ve made, you have the right to ask for a review.

What you need to know about your refund

Customers who have other Centrelink debts

We won’t use your refund to repay other Centrelink debts you might have. However, if you don’t have a current payment arrangement on a Child Support debt, contact us to set one up. If you don’t, we may garnishee your bank account or tax return.

Refund instalments

We’ll pay a small number of refunds in large instalments over consecutive business days.


The ATO won’t tax your refund. You don’t need to do anything further in relation to your tax. Read more about the tax treatment of refunds on the ATO website.

Where to find more information

If you need further information, read more about refunds for the income compliance program.

If you can’t find the information you need or need help, call the Income Compliance line on 1800 171 846.

Page last updated: 19 May 2022